December 1st, 2008
02:51 PM ET
6 years ago

Bush says some voters backed Obama ‘because of me’

ALT TEXT

President Bush says he wants to be remembered as a president who stuck to his values. (GETTY IMAGES)

(CNN) – President Bush told an interviewer that his presidency may have helped Barack Obama win the White House.

"I think it was a repudiation of Republicans," he told Charlie Gibson of ABC News, according to a transcript released by the network Monday. "And I'm sure some people voted for Barack Obama because of me. I think most people voted for Barack Obama because they decided they wanted him to be in their living room for the next four years explaining policy."

Earlier: Bush reflects on legacy

As Obama — who made opposition to the war a centerpiece of his presidential run — continued to assemble his national security team, Bush would not say whether or not he would still have pushed for war with Iraq if he had known there were no weapon of mass destruction in that country.

"A lot of people put their reputations on the line and said the weapons of mass destruction is a reason to remove Saddam Hussein," Bush said. "It wasn't just people in my administration. A lot of members in Congress, prior to my arrival in Washington, D.C., during the debate on Iraq, a lot of leaders of nations around the world were all looking at the same intelligence.

"I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess," he said, but would not say whether he would have pressed forward with the decision to invade Iraq if he had known otherwise: "That is a do-over that I can't do."

Bush also said that his administration had pressed for tougher regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but that push had been short-circuited by politics. He also said that many of the decisions that led to the economic crisis came from Wall Street before he arrived in the White House.

“I'm a little upset that we didn't get the reforms to Fannie and Freddie - on Fannie and Freddie, because I think it would have helped a lot,” he said. “And when people review the history of this administration, people will say that this administration tried hard to get a regulator. And there will be a lot of analysis of why that didn't happen. I suspect people will find a lot of it didn't happen for pure political reasons.”


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (1,029 Responses)
  1. Bush's Legacy-----

    George Bush has prevented terrorist attacks in the U.S. for the past seven years--

    You and your children have been safe from Mumbai type attacks because of the way Bush ran homeland security-

    Will Obama keep you safe for the next seven years? Not likely.

    December 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Sean P. Seattle, WA

    GEE..President George WAR CRIMINAL Bush...YA THINK...WEEEEELLLLLL DUUUUUUUUHHHHHHH!

    This is news to whom? Has the majority of America so STUPID that THE BLATANTLY OBVIOUS IS NEWS...GIMME A BREAK

    December 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Lisa in Illinois

    Hey "DC" – quite a few "mid-westerners" are blue-states now. Don't lump us all together okay?

    From a Blue-state!!

    December 1, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Surprised Not

    Good call George. Did you also know that you got a few votes in 2000 because of Monica Lewinsky?

    December 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. M C

    You're darned right we voted for Obama because of you..only it was because of all this mess you've gotten us (America) into over the last 8 years, We've had enough!

    December 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Mike Daddy

    You Democrats really need to get jobs and quit spending your time an energy bashing the Bush administration. I agree with many of your criticisms, but to become angry and beligerant about the past is something many of you should get counseling over. Bush messed up, lets get on with it. Oh and Jimmy Carter was the worst President in history.

    December 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. Lewis Gilmore, OK

    ...and think really hard on your "war-crimes" mantra...do you really want to open that door?

    Trading away the soveriegnty of our nation is not something we should do.

    December 1, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. C-Brady

    For One time President Bush is actually right!! People did vote for Obama because of him

    December 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. Liz

    Is he bragging or complaining? 49 days and counting until he and his cronies who have benefitted from their fear and war-mongering are OUTTA here! Good riddance.

    December 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. Sandy

    People, if you actually knew the facts, none of what has happened to our country is Bush's fault. Well, rather, it his administration. Bush is merely a puppet for Cheney's needs as well as those of other administration members.

    December 1, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  11. Mike Dallas

    I am not sure how many more elections the rel'ics will have to lose before admitting that the neo-conservatism espoused by the rabid far right is dead, but I will watch with much anticipation and glee and hope that they never see!

    December 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Angela

    DC, this is what is wrong with people that hold conservative views. They simply refuse believe or admit they did any thing wrong in eight years. The alcoholism of George Bush is denial which I see the republicans do a lot of ... They blame the democrats, the economy , the media, gotcha journalism, Sarah Palin(even though she ascribes to that way of thinking too)

    How about admitting to the American people that "hey we made some screw ups but we want to set things right." We want to return to the party of small government and get this economy going.

    You know something... I have been following politics for a long time and I am an independent . The McCain campaign was the most disgusting ignorant and divisive campaign since George Wallace ran for president in 1972. It is not just democrats saying that but republicans too. Lets cut the BS and work together to fix this economy

    December 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Stephen

    News Flash – Many many more voted for Obama because they thought that John McCain was too old, a war monger and mean spirited. His selection of Sarah Palin just pushed many more over the top. To the GOP people who keep posting that liberals are afraid of Palin...get a grip. We just can comprehend how someone with so little intelligence can be continually allowed to represent the GOP. It doesn't say much for the intellect of those that continue to support the hate filled diversive speech she spouts. And that makes it even more troubling is that it is all supposedly justified by religion. Reading a prepared speech with talking points does not make you smart or intellectual.

    December 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. JR

    Deluded, this man is completely deluded. No wonder our country is suffering after 8 years of this absolute "waste of skin".

    December 1, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. renee

    OH REALLLLLLLLLLLY.(LOL)

    December 1, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. Stephen

    News Flash – Many many more voted for Obama because they thought that John McCain was too old, a war monger and mean spirited. His selection of Sarah Palin just pushed many more over the top. To the GOP people who keep posting that liberals are afraid of Palin...get a grip. We just can't comprehend how someone with so little intelligence can be continually allowed to represent the GOP. It doesn't say much for the intellect of those that continue to support the hate filled diversive speech she spouts. And that makes it even more troubling is that it is all supposedly justified by religion. Reading a prepared speech with talking points does not make you smart or intellectual.

    December 1, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. He's the reason I voted, the first time, in mid-terms

    Finally, he realizes what true DEMOCRACY is.

    ..and the Donald Trump theory....

    YOU'RE FIRED!

    December 1, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. Rolling eyes

    No ship Sherlock!

    December 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. Kharma

    In the words of Martin Luther King- can't we just all get along?

    December 1, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  20. Jersey Girl

    How sad it is that we Americans are only able to see the bad in every situation. We tear people down because it relieves us of any personal responsibility. Yes, President Bush has made some mistakes; and like him, we can all agree that hindsight is better than foresight. However, what about all that he has accomplished as president- he has fought hard against AIDS in Afica, promoted faith-based programs that has helped millions during tough economic times, pushed for better education for our children, did all that was in his power to stimulate the economy (I'm sure none of his critics who are posting here tore up their stimulus check). We must also remember that he had the support of CONGRESS on all policies, including Iraq. Why isn't everyone who voted for the war (including Hillary Clinton & Joe Biden) taking some responsibility for the outcome.

    Many of the people on this page want to talk about the hate that is being spewed out by conservatives – have YOU taken the time to read the hate that is spewed out on this page?

    December 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. JW

    Holy schlitz, George finally got one right!

    December 1, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. James

    Bus you and Cheney need to resign NOW! So as Pelosi can become president for two months !

    December 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Ken

    @kevin, who says "Oh, and by the way….. there WERE Wmd's……… Saddam just very craftily succeeded in hiding/moving them. They still exist….somewhere."

    Would you please share your evidence with us on this? I am curious, since the most powerful military and intelligence operation the world has ever seen couldn't come up with the evidence. You must be one dam smart guy. So what are you going to ask Santa Clause to bring you for Christmas?

    And I agree with you statements on appreciation. I'm sure we both also appreciate Clinton for protecting the US from terrorist attack from 1993 – 2000. Right? After all, you're not trying to make a partisan statement are you? Surely you wouldn't want to go there, as Bush presided over the worst attack on our country in 2 centuries.

    FoxNews has certainly done a good job of turning out a generation of little rightwing pinheads!

    December 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Dee Dee Lynn

    Kevin,

    Yeah, and little green men and the fountain of youth are out there somewhere too. Maybe Saddam did a crafty job of hiding them. You keep looking...

    As to Bush's decisions, they were not bad because they were unpopuplar (actually dear, many of them were wildly popular at the time–they only became unpopular when people realized they were BAD) they were bad because they were bad.

    Let's recap–unnecessary war is BAD (particularly when popular).

    Waging war without a clear strategy for victory and without plans for withdrawal is BAD.

    No-bid contracts are BAD, especially when you eliminate any audit of said contracts.

    Gutting regulation and oversight and letting the banking industry write banking laws is BAD.

    Gutting the FDA is BAD (remember the outrageously high number of bacterial contamination cases there have been in the past 8 years...)

    Alienating our allies is BAD.

    Ignoring the warning about "terrorists determined to strike inside the US" was BAD.

    Torture is BAD.

    Spying on Americans because they oppose your political decisions is BAD.

    Well, this is just a starter list, I am sure others can fill in.

    Its true Bush was the worst President I can remember, and I think Obama will be a study in contrasts in every way. BUT I did not vote for Obama because Bush was BAD, I voted for Obama because he is going to be GOOD.

    December 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  25. Seems like an eternity

    Worst bloggers in history...

    December 1, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
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